Thousand Petal Lotus - The Seventh Chakra

Written by: 
Katarina Subotich
Date of issue: 
The sense of grounded uplifting was felt in the big room where about sixty students were giving and receiving healings at the Barbara Brennan School of Healing. We were in the midst of our fourth year of training, working on our hara and core star dimensions of being. I have just finished the healing and moved quietly away from the student on the table. One of our instructors passed by, observing us as we worked, soundlessly moving through the room. This teacher has suffered a car accident years back, that left her with limited movement of the neck. She could not move the neck per se, but had to move the whole torso to look on the side or back. 
As I stood leaning on the wall, I suddenly found myself inside of her neck. It felt stiff and limited, and in the same time spacious. I felt in that moment being one with her and gratitude started arising in my heart. I felt, somehow, that she took that experience upon herself, so I, and many others, don’t have to. It is a little bit hard to explain - it was not that she sacrificed herself; it was more about my awareness opening to the experience of her limitation, feeling it in my body and realizing that I don’t have to go through it myself, but I can experience it through her.
This moment of awareness blow me away.. I was obviously in expanded state and able to tap into the universal state of consciousness and connection with all life.
This was living experience of seventh chakra being open, while grounded in the physical - a moment of delicate balance sometimes very hard to achieve. Why delicate and why hard?
As all the chakras have front and back aspect, so the seventh has its pair - the first chakra. These are two apparently opposite chakras, representing our apparently different selves. The first chakra is all about the physical body, sense of safety and everything that goes with preservation of the physical life (creating possessions, procreation,  money).  All of those activities have a tendency to develop attachment in the human being - we get attached to safety, financial security, house, family. 
On the other side of the rainbow bridge, there is the seventh chakra, connected to the first through the vertical power current. Thus chakra is in charge of the operating  of the whole energy consciousness system. Its purpose is expansion that goes far beyond the physical, to freedom of spirit, enlightenment and liberation. In this chakra we try to make sense of everything that is happening around and inside of us, while seeing the bigger picture (sixth chakra) and searching for the meaning of our existence in the web of all life (seventh), on this planet and beyond. This chakra gets stifled by attachments and limitations of the lower chakras. Therefore this balance is crucial and delicate.
Attachment is the enemy of the seventh chakra. We all need attachment in order to normally function in this world: attachment to our physical body (so we pay attention when crossing the street and don’t get hit by the car), attachment to loved ones, our projects, our longings. Through attachment we care and love. 
However, when the attachments grow big, when a lot of energy is put in them (who is not attached to their kids) and we insist on those attachments, our seventh chakra closes down. While being too absorbed in the business of the lower chakras, we can easily lose the sight of the bigger picture and connection to the source (whatever source represents for each one of us). In my practice I worked with lots of kids whose parents are able to see them as just that - their kids. For some parents it is very difficult concept to grasp that their kid is another soul that came in this world to do its own work and have its own experiences.The importance of attachment, as well as illusion it creates, is the most obvious in the family relationships.
Attachment perfectly fits and perpetuates our beliefs. We might believe that we need to protect our child, and that is true (attachment and love), but if we insist on it beyond their biological age, we will most probably limit them and to some degree prevent their growth, learning and living their own life. So we will ultimately do them disfavor. We believe that it is our duty to do so and we believe that we are doing it for their own good. That belief system might have been inherited from our own parents and passed down through generations in our family, which makes it even stronger. Do you feel how limiting this is all becoming? Beliefs close our opportunity to grow, and very common problem in this situation is the certainty: I know this is the truth. I know, because I had experience of it. I know I am right, I know everything there is to know about life, so listen to me!
In this setting, there is no space for growth. And we all have some areas of life where our beliefs are strong and are literally eroding our possibility to grow. They keep us “safe” and protected from certain experiences, while emotions we have inside are getting stagnant, thoughts are repeating themselves, and relationships failing again and again. Our expression and vision are in the service of that particular belief and we are trapped in the vicious circle. The seventh chakra wilts, instead of being that opening thousand-petal lotus flower. This all results in more separation, which perpetuates more illusion. 
What has been helpful for many of us on the spiritual path is the development of the inner witness. Since all those beliefs, attachments etc. have a lot of our identity invested in them, it is hard to distance oneself and have clarity and insight in the bigger meaning. Being able just to do that, to distance oneself and be mindful for a few moments, can bring us to a completely different place and understanding. The neutral witness sets on a quest and gives perspective without attachment. The witness helps us get for a moment out of that given situation and ask: Who is attached? What is the dilemma, confusion and pain the attached part is feeling? Where is it coming from? What belief is creating it? 
Paying attention is the begging, middle and end (if such a thing as end exists) of self realization. It is a meaning and the goal. Mindfulness is simply presence to the moment the way it is, without trying to change it, avoid it, fix it or make it better.
This all leads us to the infinite existence and transcendence of limitations and illusions. However, many of us (and especially schizoid character structure) has a tendency to avoid issues of the lower chakras and uses spirituality and upper chakras (6. and 7.) to escape this world without really facing it. This is where main split between the first and seventh chakras happens. We avoid the physical and pass it all on the spiritual where it is just simply safer to be. No threats, no death, no conflict - it is all one. While many of this statements are true, they are traps as well. By just going into spiritual and denying material, and vice versa, we insist on the separation of our own material and spiritual self, and so contribute to the separation in the collective. 
While in the physical dimension, we need both. Punto. We cannot have balanced and healthy life if we just sit on one side of the river intellectualizing how it is to be in the water and swim. We will not know it until we jump in and get wet - in the material and spiritual sense.
If we do insist on the tasks and activities of the lower chakras, we develop deficient seventh chakra as the liberating current cannot finish its journey. All transformative energies that come through and from the other chakras cannot make its way to full consciousness that contains it all. Therefore the patterns will repeat over and over again as they fail to come to conscious awareness. The characteristics of deficient seventh chakra are certainty, rigid beliefs, need to be right, spiritual skepticism, belief in limitations (I can never get out of debt, etc.).
As the seventh chakra is doorway to universal and infinite consciousness, it might sound contradictory that it can be excessive (similar as to fourth chakra - can there be too much love?). As Anodea Judith put it:” …excessive does not mean full and open, but overly invested with energy that is used as a defense.” Overinteractualization, spiritual addiction, feeling overwhelmed and psychosis are a few examples of excessive seventh chakra. I have met many people in my life and practice that avoid feelings and intellectualize whole life around it, just so they can feel smart, right, good about themselves, high up there without getting down and messy in what is already inside of them. This develops so called false detachment. That way we are not really living our lives neither being spiritual, but attached to avoidance method - a way of protecting ourselves from the pain of human experience. That way we deprive ourselves of pleasure as well and life becomes dry.
Let's touch thebase with the character structures. Every one of us has certain beliefs systems in place, or combination of a few. The constellation of our beliefs will affect the work of the seventh chakra, as well as the whole energy consciousness system.

The schizoid character believes that this world is not safe place and that he can be annihilated every moment. That is why he goes in the upper spheres and most probably develops excessive seventh chakra.
Oral character is trapped in abandonment issues and believes that if he get attached he will be left and abandoned (he will suffer again). He can play avoidance game most of the time as its protective mechanism and develop deficient seventh chakra. 
Belief of masochist character is that he cannot do or have, he has to submit and be loved only when he pleases others. A lot of energy and often a lot of anger can be stuck in the third chakra, that can keep this character bound to the lower chakras while closing the seventh.
Psychopathic character has trust issues as he was betrayed when he expected the least. If we have trust issues in the humans, and the self, we will have them also in the Divine. All energy in this character is placed on gaining the power so he will not be betrayed or left helpless again. This indicates on less energy left for development of spiritual life and tendencies towards deficient seventh chakra. 
Rigid character’s tendency is to have very stifled belief systems that, when transferred to spirituality,have tendency to create fanaticism and blind faith. This is indicating on excessive seventh chakra.
This are all ideas of seventh chakra at work with different character styles. Most of the time we are combination of many of defense mechanisms, and so the seventh chakra is often combination of open and close, depending on the area of life that is wounded.
I hope this article gave you a little idea of the role and importance of making a full circle between the first and the seventh chakra, and all the bridge in between, the rainbow bridge. We have traveled through many colors and made many stops, explored our inner world and got to know a bit more about ourselves.
I hope you enjoyed reading those articles as much as I did writing them. 
May all of your true colors keep shining in this world, and beyond.
With love

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